2013 in Review and an Outlook on 2014

Hurray for 2014! I hope you have a great start of this brand new set of 365 days, full of books and bookish pleasures. As always, I love starting the year by letting my inner nerd out, with some very serious stats about my reading. Please allow me 5 minutes of navel-gazing before I give you the title of the 5 books I loved best last year.

Uh-oh, turns out it will be quicker than I thought. I read the same numbers of books (60) and the breakdown seems roughly identifical with 2012: about a third of them mysteries, slightly less than last year, that has been replaced by slightly more non-fiction (a quarter), slightly more than half by British-American writers, slightly more than half by female writers. I have read very few books written before 1945 and very few from outside the American and European continents. Sigh.

Which is not to say I have completely failed in my resolutions. I have tried more daring endeavours in fields I usually ignore: religious books, science books, horror, etc. I have made my way through quite a number of French novels (a genre I previously snobbed) with pleasant surprises. I started the Bible and followed a number of Yale courses, but I didn’t quite go as far as I’d thought. The big factor in 2013 was my kind-of-unexpected pregnancy, which made me fall back on comfort reads (I was plagued with nausea for 4-5 months, which effectively curtails any difficult reading (or any reading at all during my commute, which I replaced by many great audiobooks). I must say that Harry Potter was a great comfort during this period. I really look forward to reading this series aloud to my elder son in a few years’ time. I bet (it is a sure bet) that he will love it too.

So, without further delay, here are my 5 favorites books of 2013, in no particular order:

I have the impression that my choice of books for 2013 reflects a more diverse reading panorama. I hope I can read some more by Malcolm, N’Diaye and Thomas very soon.

2014 will certainly be different because of the new baby, who will effectively limit my (reading and blogging) time, my visits to the library, and my exposition to new books. As I have just been given a Kindle, I think I will concentrate more on public domain classics. I hope (one can only hope) that I will get to read a lot of books that have been staying unread on my shelves for some time (I have a great selection of Persephone), or that I will fall back on classic Cluedo-style mysteries for my comfort reading. I also wish to continue with my Bible project as it was very enlightening last year. We’ll see!

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5 thoughts on “2013 in Review and an Outlook on 2014

  1. I read Sittenfeld’s more recent novel ‘Sisterland’ last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your post reminded me that I meant to explore her back catalogue and I must do something about that as soon as possible. Thanks.

  2. Most of what is on my Kindle are public domain books as well. I wish I could buy more Persephone books, but with shipping to the US they are usually just too expensive (as paperbacks) but out library system has a few of the titles. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Persephone book that was not really good. Next time I’m in London – probably 2015 – I have already made a pledge with myself to go to the store. Congratulations on the baby! Stay healthy and I’ll be looking forward to your posts.

  3. You did very well, especially given the circumstances. I wish you Bonne Année for both reading and for motherhood – who knows, perhaps you will have an angelic little sleeper who will allow you plenty of time for reading.

  4. We must have similar tastes basically – Curtis Sittenfeld, Janet Malcolm and Marie NDiaye are all in my favourite authors list (the NDiaye you read I have yet to read – I’ll get there!). And as I said the other day, I am hoping to read Les Adieux a la reine very soon. Ooh 2014 will be exciting for you in non-reading ways, I can see, but Persephone and mystery novels ought to be the perfect choices for relaxation! A very very happy New Year to you and yours!

  5. Happy New Year! Good reading in 2013. I hope that in spite of the new baby you are still able to get in plenty of reading in 2014. Having a Kindle might come in handy for that!

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